PETALING JAYA - A short video clip, showing a man resembling a well-known religious teacher in bed with a young woman, has gone viral on social media and instant messaging apps.
The man resembles ustaz Azhar Idrus, who is pro-Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), The Star reported. He has a huge following and never fails to attract large crowds whenever he gives talks, said the newspaper.
PAS usually rides on his popularity to garner support of fence sitters in areas where the competition with Umno is stiff.
Sources, however, said the young woman in the video could be his third wife.
"But since all his three wives wear veils over their faces, it is difficult to confirm her identity," another source was quoted as saying.
An aide of the ustaz claimed that such videos were being spread by people out to attack the integrity of the ulama fraternity, said Berita Harian Online.
Zulkifli Wahab, denying the man in the video was Azhar, said such videos appeared to have been used to erode public confidence in religious figures.
"No, don't believe it. It is an effort to tarnish not just Azhar, but the ulama in the country," Berita Harian Online quoted him as saying.
Zulkifli said Azhar's ceramah programmes would not be affected by the distribution of the video clip.
He also blamed non-Islamic programmes such as the recent "I Want to Touch a Dog" event for tarnishing the image of the religion and its scholars.
He said the increased awareness and interest among Muslims in Malaysia to attend religious programmes and talks have led to some quarters "feeling uneasy."
The recent "I Want to Touch a Dog" programme encouraged Malaysians to interact with dogs - seen as unclean in Islam. The Muslim organiser, Syed Azmi Alhabshi, 30, had said his intention was to help people overcome their fear of dogs and promote compassion towards animals, according to AFP. The event attracted 800 Malaysians, half of whom were Muslims.
But Malaysia's National Fatwa Council has declared that touching and holding dogs is un-Islamic, Bernama reported.
Islamic Affairs Minister Jamil Khir Baharom said touching dogs was against mainstream Islamic doctrines in Malaysia and that while Islam revered all animals including dogs, Muslims must adhere to the stipulated Islamic code.